Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston

Bookish and the Beast

Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston (Once Upon A Con #3)
English | 2020| Contemporary | ePUB | 3.6 MB

A tale as old as time is made new in Ashley Poston’s fresh, geeky retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.

On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.

When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.

But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.

After all, if anyone was to find love somewhere romantic, why couldn’t it be me? Why not this year? Why not make something memorable to lessen the pain in my chest?

Still, though, I should’ve listened to my gut telling me to just stay in the hotel room. Because not five minutes after Quinn and Annie dragged me down to the ExcelsiCon Ball, I had lost them in the masses of people.

There were just so many.

I tried looking for them—they were hard to miss, dressed as floating glowing neon goldfish (“We’re the snacks that smile back!” Quinn had said with a wink). I had put together a closet cosplay that I found in my, well, closet—an unassuming black crop top and a white skirt, and an empty shot glass around my neck.

…A shot in the dark, get it?

No one ever does.

It only took another few minutes for me to become absolutely overwhelmed, run into a Nox King who spilled his Galactic Twist all over my cosplay, and bail from the ball. I returned to the elevators and squeezed into the first one available, damned which floor. To my utter chagrin, it only took me up to the tenth floor, and I let myself out to escape the smell of sweat and hairspray clogging the elevator.

The tenth floor was mostly a lobby overlooking the chaos below. It was quiet here, at least. Much quieter than I expected, given the thumping bass down below. There wasn’t a chance I was getting back into those elevators anytime soon—it looked like the one I just came out of broke on the fifteenth floor, and the other two were…well, to put it politely, not in the best shape.

Great, I guess I wasn’t going back to my room after all. And I was stuck in a damp skirt.

There was a door that opened to a small outside area, and I let myself out. The night air was crisp, and warm. I sucked in a lungful of fresh air to calm my nerves. There were only a few people on the garden balcony—a couple dressed as Pokémon making out in the corner, and a guy leaning against the balcony rail.

Oh, I thought as I walked up beside him to enjoy the view, he’s got a nice butt.

Not that it really mattered. I leaned against the railing and tried to see the damage to my outfit in the low rooftop light, patting down the stains with the wad of napkins I stole from the drinks kiosk on the way here. For once, I was happy that everyone was downstairs dancing the night away to a dubstep version of “The Imperial March,” because here it was so nice and quiet—so quiet my ears rang.

My skirt was ruined, that much I could guess. I just wanted to go back to the hotel room and get out of these heels and take a hot shower to get all of the con grime off me. There was a book in my suitcase just calling my name—the new Starfield: Resonance companion novel.

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